contact | privacy policy | unsubscribe | forward to a friend
Public Assets Institute, PO Box 942, Montpelier, Vermont 05601.

Public Assets Institute

Update September 2010

In this issue:
-- Register Early: September 30 Conference
-- Rethinking Taxes
-- Public Investment is Key to Economic Development
-- A (Slightly) Brighter Future for Revenue
-- Farewell and Hello, Summer Speaking Tour

Register Early: September 30 Conference
Public Assets Institute will hold its fifth annual conference, Recommitting to Vermont, Seizing the Opportunity
How to Use the Crisis to Make Vermont Work for Everyone,
with Voices for Vermont's Children in Montpelier on Sept. 30.

The best research already tells us what works. Public investment in people and infrastructure is the best short- and long-term strategy for Vermont—a way to help pull us out of the current recession and build a state that provides prosperity for all Vermonters. So why hasn't much of it been translated into policy—and how can we make sure it will be?

At this year's conference we will review the research about public investments, delve into the key reform efforts already under way, and explore how we can work together to seize this opportunity to bring greater prosperity to all Vermonters now and in the future.

Register early and save. Look to the conference page for further details in the coming weeks.

Rethinking Taxes
Created by the Legislature in 2009, the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission is asking questions that challenge many of the policies embedded in Vermont's tax code. Sales tax exemptions, preferential tax treatment for some businesses, income tax deductions and exemptions are all up for discussion.

The three-member commission will report to the Legislature at the start of the session, so this fall it's taking public testimony and developing recommendations. Two papers nicely lay out some of the policy options: Mind the Gap: Transitioning to Tax Reform and Thin Slices: Examining Aspects of Vermont's Tax Base. They're at the commission's website, along with other documents and a meeting schedule.

Public Investment is Key to Economic Development
Investing in the public infrastructure and strengthening education will do more to create lasting prosperity in Vermont and New England than tax credits or other business giveaways. That's the conclusion of a new report by Jeffrey Thompson, an economist who works with Public Assets Institute and its counterparts in the other New England states. Based on analysis of the best research, the report should bring light to Vermont's search for ways out of the recession. Its here, plus a brief and our commentary.

Jeffrey will be presenting at Public Assets' 2010 conference on Sept. 30.

A (Slightly) Brighter Future for Revenue
State economists forecast that General Fund revenues will grow this year and next. Mid-July estimates project increases of 5 percent in fiscal 2011 and 7.7 percent in 2012 in revenues that support the state's main budget account. Even with that growth, however, General Fund revenues won't reach the $1.2 billion the state collected in fiscal 2008, before the worst of the recession. Both fiscal 2009 and 2010 saw declines, the only two-year drop in more than three decades.

Farewell and Hello, Summer Speaking Tour
Public Assets Institute wraps up its third annual summer speaking tour with a visit to Stowe this month. Executive Director Paul Cillo and Senior Analyst Jack Hoffman have been speaking to community groups, holding workshops on education funding for legislators and school officials, meeting with newspaper editors, and attending house parties to talk about what state fiscal data tell us about Vermont and how we can make our state work for all its residents. We visit five communities each summer to hear what Vermonters are thinking about the economy, state services, and taxes, and to challenge some of the myths about fiscal policy.

It's not too early to start planning the 2011 summer tour. Let us know if you'd like to help organize a visit to your community.

Public Assets Institute is funded by grants and donations. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our work.

Fact: Vermont pays 49.6 percent of the 2004 basic needs amount as its 2010 welfare benefit: $528 a month for a family of four.

Source: Vermont Agency of Human Services

bringing fiscal data home

How much does Waterville spend on its schoolchildren? What is the effective income tax rate for the residents of Manchester? What's the median family income in Hardwick or Norwich?

Our new interactive feature, town2town, lets you zoom in to get fiscal and economic facts about your town. You can also check out neighboring towns, your in-laws' town, the governor's town, or the entire state of Vermont.

Public Assets is starting with a single item—the percentage of their aggregate income residents of each town pay in income taxes, which is also known as the effective tax rate.

Periodically, we will add new data (and refresh old data) to fill out the profile of your community.

Check out our first map detailing Vermont's effective income tax rate.

Blue Ribbon Tax Commission
September 28, 2010
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
133 State Street, Montpelier
More information

RSS Feed
Subscribe to our feed and get
up-to-the-minute news from Public Assets Institute. Just copy this url into your RSS reader.
More about RSS here

Receive this from a friend?
Sign up to get our future Updates.

contact | privacy policy | unsubscribe | forward to a friend
Public Assets Institute, PO Box 942, Montpelier, Vermont 05601.